Seasiders refuse to lose: Gwernyfed 26 – 36 Penarth

FOLLOWING Wales’ victory in Paris that started their Gland Slam campaign Warren Gatland said that the side had simply forgotten how to lose.

At the same time there were plenty of people watching Penarth RFC who wondered if they would ever remember how to win, but those dark February days are now just a distant memory as the Seasiders recorded their 5th straight bonus point victory to move into the top half of the table for the first time this season.

Since Penarth defeated Gwernyfed on 6th April other results had meant that the Talgarth side’s relegation had now been confirmed.

But rather than disheartening the home side it simply removed any jeopardy from their situation and they found themselves playing with freedom and saw them open up an early 12-0 lead.

The Seasiders have built up a significant self confidence over the last few weeks and whereas a scoreline of this nature would have phased them previously it no longer holds any demons and they soon found themselves ahead 12-14 as first Rhys Beynon and then Richie Bowen crossed the whitewash, with skipper Rhys Morgan adding the extras.

Gwernyfed bounced back with a further converted score to retake the lead at 19-14 but vice captain and talismanic tighthead prop Alan Doyle got Penarth level on the stroke of half time with his 5th try of the campaign.

The game was a typically open “end of season” affair with both sides showing great attacking intent and throwing the kitchen sink at each other.

The second half showed no let up in intensity and Penarth soon had their noses in front as that man Doyle crossed for another unconverted score.

It is fair to say that a prop’s importance to a side can be underestimated but in Doyle Penarth have a rare talent not only in the set piece but also in the loose.

Indeed he has appeared in every Penarth victory in the last 4 seasons and his lay-offs with injury or university based absence (scuba-diving in Greece or hatching lobsters in Cornwall) have coincided with the more barren periods of Penarth’s recent history.

Penarth stretched their lead further through the increasingly impressive and influential Owain Lord before the home side narrowed the gap to just 3 points with a 4th try of their own as the game headed into the final 15 minutes with all results still possible.

But Penarth were unwilling to give up their winning streak and rubbed salt in the Gwernyfed wounds as Harry Williams scored in the dying moments and Morgan converted to give a final score of 26-36 for Penarth to register yet another bonus point win and deny the Talgarth side a losing bonus point.

The final episode of a tumultuous season is to be played out at Parc Yr Dwrlyn, Pentyrch on Wednesday 1st May at 7pm.

Having provided Penarth’s first opponents of the season it is fitting that the Tyrch’s will also be the last, and having suffered two narrow defeats to them back in September Penarth will be looking to gain some sort of revenge and extend that winning run just a little bit longer.

Penarth have already secured their highest points tally (47pts), tries scored (73) and bonus points collected (15) since the promotion winning season of 2009/10 so a final victory would be the icing on the cake.

PENARTH: Rhys Morgan (c), George Roberts (James Candy), Owain Lord, Rhys Beynon, James Crothers (Harry Williams), Kevin Maddox, Richard Merrett (Harry Wood), Mason Good (Liam Richards), Alan Doyle, Matt Allen, Andy Lang, Josh Spragg (Chris Mortimer), Richie Bowen, Miles Jones.

Scorers: A Doyle (2t), R Beynon (t), O Lord (t), R Bowen (t), H Williams (t), R Morgan (3c)

Division 3 East Central A

Wednesday 1st May 2019: PENTYRCH v PENARTH, Kick-off 7pm